For all the talk of Android and iOS, the lesser-known Pandora handheld has some juicy visual capabilities in a pocket form factor. You get decent specs (an ARM A8 core plus decent DSP), OpenGL ES 2.0 support, and – critical to making this a mobile visualist box – good, old-fashioned S-Video TV output. Production runs are limited now, but incredibly, using UK labor working in superb conditions the cost is just US$349 (330 EUR including VAT) – no contract with a phone company required.
And, of course, you can play games with it, too. With two SD slots and USB host mode, this could be a fun pocket addition to your VJ gig bag. Of course, you could also opt for a netbook, but that wouldn’t be nearly as cute or fun.
Oh, yeah, and since this is Linux and OpenGL ES, there’s nothing stopping you from making this a little pocket OpenFrameworks machine. You could have fun on an open box, then port a version to something on which you can make money – even one of the Pandora leads has an iPhone game to pay the bills.
I really do wish the Pandora folks well. This box represents a lot of what I wish my DS were, and it’d be fantastic to see a little homebrew game scene developing around Linux. If you’re lucky enough to pick one up, let us know.
Check out the graphics capabilities (sadly, mostly emulators running titles you know rather than homebrew), below:
http://www.openpandora.org/ with official developer blog, community, purchase info, the lot